A La Carte (April 11)

It isn’t much of a day for Kindle deals, at least as far as I can see. We’ll try again tomorrow. Maybe you can find something else interesting at Nitoy Gonzalez’s Freebie Round-Up.

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(Yesterday on the blog: 10 New and Notable Books for April)

It’s Time To Go On the Offensive

There’s lots of good stuff in this article from Rebecca McLaughlin. “When it comes to giving reasons for our faith, we Christians are playing far too defensive a game. We’ve believed that Christianity is declining. It isn’t. We’ve assumed Christianity can’t stand up in the university. It can. Too many of us think Christianity is threatened by diversity. It never has been. And too few of us think Christian sexual ethics are sustainable in the modern world. They are. On these and many other fronts, we have conceded far more ground to secularism than it deserves.”

A Manifesto for Christian Women on Instagram

Abigail Dodds: “Friends, would you commit to join me in shining the light of Christ on Instagram? I know many women are already doing this. Many are intentionally speaking the truth in love about Christ. But what if we invited more and more regular, non-famous Christian women to join this mission? What if we strategized and planned, not how to grow our own platform, but how to make him known far and wide and build up his people?”

A Social Media Exodus Is Coming

Also on the subject of social media: “This can’t go on indefinitely. People are getting fed up. They’re scared of waking up one morning or getting off a plane and discovering their life has been eviscerated. They’re exhausted by the mental and emotional attention that online minutia demands. They’re annoyed with how the most insignificant trends and conversations have become important sorters to separate good people from bad people. Eventually all this anxiety and weariness and frustration is going to overcome a handful of influential people, and the house of cards is going to fold, slowly but surely.”

The Brand Is Belief

There are a couple of swear words in this examination of a fast-growing new kind of church, but I guess that’s part of the story, not incidental to it. This story is also related to social media because this is one of those churches that wouldn’t exist but for Instagram. “An investigation of the Brooklyn branch of a global Pentecostal megachurch, which peddles ultra-conservative values with slick, millennial marketing.”

It Turns Out that Sexual Liberation Isn’t All that Liberating

David French: “For generations, key elements of our cultural and academic elite have been arguing … that liberation from religion and liberation from marriage were prerequisites to true human flourishing. If you asked an early era sexual revolutionary for his prediction for a culture with profoundly less religious practice, less marriage, and many fewer moral restraints on sexual practice, I sincerely doubt that he’d respond that he believed that culture would be less happy, with people having less sex.”

Hearing the Story Again for the First Time

“Reading Luke’s gospel in a manner that does not permit it to be overshadowed by its conclusion will grant themes of Christ’s kingdom and its earthly impact far greater prominence. The connection of the coming of the Son of Man with something like the sanguinary destruction of the city of Jerusalem might be unsettling for the sensibilities of contemporary Western readers, yet is a very important part of the projected fulfilment of Luke’s kingdom themes.”

“Where Are You From?”

A young lady reflects on having grown up all over the world rather than in one place. “I have adopted a new identity: Citizen of Heaven. As my identity is found in him, and as my eternity will be found there also, I rest in the assurance that I do have a home.”

Flashback: 10 Ugly Numbers Describing Pornography Use

These numbers prove statistically what we already known anecdotally—that pornography is a significant issue afflicting our society and our church. As Christians we can and must be prepared to help those who are struggling with it and to assure them that they can be forgiven and freed.

The more you read Scripture, the more you actually talk to God rather than think about fear. —Edward Welch